Pure Storage is a company that I’ve been following closely for the past several years. It was one of the first to market with an all-flash storage array, as well as NVMe and high-performance storage. Its innovation often leads the way in storage and pushes its larger, perhaps more well-known, competitors to compete. Last week, it announced the acquisition of Compuverde, an up-and-coming developer of enterprise file software solutions based out of Sweden (perhaps best known for providing the software behind IBM’s Spectrum NAS solution). While Pure Storage has file service capabilities in its existing FlashBlade product, the Compuverde acquisition brings a proven level of maturity into Pure’s portfolio that will bring strength across all of its products. I see this as a positive acquisition that fills a definite hole in Pure’s portfolio and shores up its advanced file offerings, and I expect that we will see the technology leveraged wherever Pure is delivering file services. Let’s take a closer look.
Enabling hybrid cloud
Running both in hyperconverged or virtual NAS, I believe Compuverde’s file system software will bring unstructured data capabilities to Pure’s portfolio and enable it to better target hybrid architectures. Pure cites a growing demand in the enterprise for file-based shared storage in the public cloud as a primary motivator for the acquisition. Compuverde’s hyperconverged system is suitable for VMware ESXi, Microsoft HyperV, Xen, and KVM hypervisors, while its NAS is scalable to over 1,000 nodes with a capacity that ranges from 1TB to multiple exabytes.
Pure says it will incorporate Compuverde’s unstructured data capabilities into its scale-up FlashArray offering, allowing it to aim at enterprise file sharing, databases on NFS and SMB file protocols, and VMware over NFS. In short, it should enable FlashArray to serve all storage protocols via one platform.
This is part of Pure’s larger stated goal of establishing a unified system for enterprises by the year 2020. It’s of note that this acquisition comes only seven months after Pure’s acquisition of data deduplication software startup StorReduce, whose data reduction capabilities were integrated with Pure’s other all-flash array family, its scale-out
FlashBlade offering. Pure says that by pairing the capabilities of a unified FlashArray with a unified FlashBlade, it will be able to serve all possible enterprise use cases.
Pure isn’t just about storage arrays. The company is one of the fastest moving storage companies in putting its technology into the cloud, essentially providing virtual arrays to supplement their on-premises offerings. Couple that with Pure’s Evergreen on-premise capacity on-demand offering, and the company has all elements of a hybrid-cloud solution in place. Compuverde promises to increase that footprint.
Pure tells me that its first target for the Compuverde acquisition is to add filer capabilities to its FlashArray line. That makes a lot of sense and will strengthen that offering. However, let’s not forget that Compuverde’s technology is deeply rooted in software-defined storage. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Pure quickly supplement its cloud offerings with the technology as soon as the FlashArray integration is done.
The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, but the acquisition is expected to close later this month. Pure says the Compuverde team (all 20 employees) will be offered jobs and will be allowed to stay in Sweden.
Also, in case you were wondering, Pure Storage will continue to honor Compuverde’s deal with IBM on its Spectrum NAS product and will continue to support Compuverde’s existing customer base (which spans telecom, financial services, and media industries).
All in all, the acquisition of Compuverde looks to a smart move on Pure Storage’s part. It greatly enhances the company’s unstructured data capabilities, allows it to better target hybrid architectures, and brings it one step closer to its goal of a unified system for enterprises.
It’s not always easy for an aggressive engineering-led company like Pure to look outside itself to enhance its capabilities, and I respect that Pure has now done this twice in such a short time. It’s a smart use of their working capital and dramatically accelerates their ability to compete against its much larger competitors.
As I’ve written before, Pure understands the changing world of data. It continues to rise to meet these changing demands, through its industry-leading innovation and strategic acquisitions such as Compuverde and StorReduce. The storage market is changing. Pure is changing with it. Nice buy Pure Storage; now it’s onto execution.